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‘We deserve better:’ 17-year-old activist joins legislators calling for gun control laws

High-school student Jordan Harb, flanked by Arizona lawmakers and a representative for the state school board, delivered a gun control message on Monday: “We want our lives taken into account.”... Read more»

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Arizona charter schools less ethnically diverse

Two decades after Arizona helped pioneer the charter school movement, enrollment data show the schools don’t match the school age demographics of the state and, in many cases, their neighborhoods. White - and especially Asian - students attend charter schools at a higher rate than Hispanics, who now make up the the greatest portion of Arizona’s school age population.... Read more»

Administrators scramble to hire teachers as school year looms

Arizona officials say there are at least 1,000 vacant teacher positions to fill, with just weeks left until the school year starts around the state. It’s not the first time school districts have found themselves scrambling to hire teachers in Arizona, where officials say low salaries, lack of support and high turnover rates combine to make summers a stressful time for administrators.... Read more»

Would Douglas’ stand against Common Core doom the standards?

If her current lead holds, Arizona will elect as superintendent of public instruction a Tea Party Republican who has made eliminating the state’s version of the Common Core central to her campaign. Diane Douglas’ stance on the standards has aroused concerns among education advocates and contributed to the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s decision to endorse Democrat David Garcia.... Read more»1

Collaborative website helping many schools prepare for Common Core

When teachers in Queen Creek prepare lessons on the new Common Core standards, a website connects them with explanations, quizzes and other resources shared by dozens of school districts and charter schools. After using these resources and adapting them for their students, teachers there can then upload their materials for others around Arizona to use. ... Read more»

Districts, advocates worry about tech, training for Common Core

When more than 30 students use the Internet in the three schools that constitute the Sanders Unified School District on the Navajo Nation, the broadband becomes slow and unreliable, Superintendent Michael Murphy says.... Read more»

Reading, writing, ‘rithmetic – retention? New 3rd-grade standards

Arizona children entering third grade this year are the first who will have to prove that they can read at an acceptable level or face being held back. The Department of Education estimates that the law will force about 1,500 children to repeat third grade next year. Another 17,000 third graders are at risk of being held back... Read more»

Public schools getting creative to compete for students

Facing increased competition for students and the funding that comes with each, many public schools and districts are embracing new ways of promoting themselves: conducting exit interviews with students and parents who choose charter schools, buying theater advertisements, and developing social media campaigns.... Read more»

Arizona’s ‘dropout factories’ decline, but graduation rates still lag

Arizona posted one of the country’s sharpest declines in so-called “dropout factories” in the last decade, but was still slightly below the national average for high school graduation rates in 2011, according to a recent report.... Read more»

Poor districts may see cuts under Brewer's school performance budget

Supporters of Gov. Jan Brewer’s performance-based education funding model for school districts and charter holders say concerns about the formula’s effects on schools in low-income areas don’t take into account the bigger picture.... Read more»

Lawmaker: Make schools get parental consent to use isolation rooms

Rep. Kelly Townsend, R-Mesa, wants a law requiring schools to obtain parental consent before using isolation or seclusion rooms to control student behavior. Arizona is among states without laws regulating the use of restraints and seclusion practices in schools. ... Read more»

Az education policy gets C-minus; still enough for 8th place

A conservative advocacy group gives Arizona a C-minus in a national report card on education policy but notes the state has made strides in reform and has room for growth. ... Read more»


Proposition 204, Mars and men

They say men are from Mars. That also might be true for policy analysts – especially when trying to discuss intelligently the vagaries of Proposition 204.... Read more»

Prop. 204 backers claim dire consequences if measure fails

Kathy Knecht, a governing board member in the Peoria Unified School District said counseling, says specialized reading and gifted student programs may be on the chopping block if voters don’t approve Proposition 204.... Read more»

Groups sue to block Az's scholarships for disabled law

The Arizona School Boards Association and Arizona Education Association have sued to block a new law that provides publicly funded scholarships that allow children with disabilities to attend private schools. ... Read more»

Senate gives preliminary OK to school district unification committee

The state Senate on Monday gave preliminary approval to a bill that would renew discussion about school district consolidation after voters soundly rejected unification proposals in 2008.... Read more»

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